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#1 2009-09-05 01:57:14

Real Member


The Spelling Chequer

Inspired by various versions of this poem on the internet, I saw possibilities for a near-total spelling derailment...and here's what I came up with.

It may look like absolute gobbledegook at first glance, but try it with someone who's a good reader and get them to read it out aloud to you - fairly quickly and smoothly (they may need to have a bit of a run-through first).

You'll probably find as I did when someone read it to me (including some other 'uninitiated' friends), that the reader won't have a clue whatsoever about what they're reading, but to the hearers, who aren't tricked by the alternative spellings, it will (might?) be quite clear!

All except the proper names and acronyms are valid words found in the SOWPODS word list, which contains British-English and American-English words allowed in Scrabble 'double-dictionary' play. If you run the poem (and the extra bits) through a SOWPODS-armed spellchecker, no errors will be reported. 

The Spelling Chequer

aka 'Anne Owed too the Spell Ling Cheque Err'
(buy Hen Ree Word's Worth Long Fell Lowe)

Rede Pea Esses (bee lo) fur st

Eye have ah spell ling chequer –
It kaim withe mai pea sea.
It plane lee marque's four miry view
Miss steak psych an knot cee.

Eye's try ka quay an tie pa whirred
And weight faw it too sei
Weather eye 'am rong oar write –
It shew's mi stray ta whey!

As sue NASA missed ache is maid
(it nose bee four to long)
Then eye cann put thee airer rite –
Its' rare lea ever rong.

Eye have run this pome threw it
(witch yaw sure lee plea's two no!)
Its let ur purr feck tall the weigh –
Mai Czech er tolled mi sew.

Of coarse, iff few doo the saim and run awl this threw you're spell ling cheque er to, the ree's alt faugh yule bee just as prefect (butt yore Czech err mussed bee worth it sault!)

Pea Ess.................Bet ur read doubt allow dan dun's pea dilly (hint: reed read as read – dont reede it as read).
Peep Ee Es............This pome was nom inn eight ted as ah canned id eight fore ah Pullet Surprise.
P Pea Pe Ess..........En knee 'pea queue lea are' word's (knot name) tsar inn these Crab Bull® diction heir ee!
Pe Peep E Pea S.....Play sing the em fah siss on the write cill ah bull is ess sen shool!

EDIT: Added "mai" (for "my").
OED's definition...Short form of matai: In a Samoan extended family, the person who is chosen to succeed to a chief's or orator's title and honoured as the head of the household.

Last edited by phrontister (2013-05-31 19:26:19)

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

#2 2009-09-05 04:49:53

Super Member


Re: The Spelling Chequer

I put it through my spelling checker and it found errors.

I'll be here at least once every month. XP

#3 2009-09-05 08:54:52

Real Member


Re: The Spelling Chequer

Hi quittyqat,

Most English spell checkers are regional (either American English or British English), and unless you have a SOWPODS one (not actually available, AFAIK) your checker will show errors.

I used the OSPD - "Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary" (American) and OSW - "Official Scrabble Words" (British) for this. "SOWPODS" is just a popularised rearrangment of the combined OSW and PODS letters to make that combination pronounceable.

The OSW contains many more words than the OSPD, so it's likely that for this poem more errors will appear when using an A.E. spell checker than a B.E. one.

It's only an over-the-top exercise in silliness - as is the original poem (although nowhere near the extent of my version) - but it does highlight one of the limitations of spell checkers.

But...all the words are definitely valid, and would be allowable in international Scrabble tournaments that allow 'double-dictionary' play (which tournaments between A.E and B.E. players generally do).

Of course, just to add to the confusion, I also went for obscure word-choices where possible, which spell checkers that mainly comprise standard/common words would miss.

I also threw an out-of-place apostrophe or two into the mix...just highlighting a further flaw in electronic spell checkers.

Last edited by phrontister (2009-09-05 09:25:30)

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

#4 2013-06-01 07:16:10

Real Member


Re: The Spelling Chequer

Hi phro

I find it amazing how there are some words with very few letters and very unusual letter combinations which are valid (e.g. today I found out that the word 'jo' is a valid Scrabble word dizzy).

Do you maybe know which two-letter word can give the largest number of points?

Last edited by anonimnystefy (2013-06-01 07:17:22)

The limit operator is just an excuse for doing something you know you can't.
“It's the subject that nobody knows anything about that we can all talk about!” ― Richard Feynman
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

#5 2013-06-01 12:48:47

Real Member


Re: The Spelling Chequer

Hi stefy,

That depends on the dictionary you use, which can be any that the players agree upon. For instance, if all that you have with you at the time is the Pocket Oxford Dictionary (which Gurth used for most of those word games of his) and you feel you need an argument-settler to adjudicate, then the POD is what you'd use.

For Scrabble tournaments the dictionaries differ according to country and tournament.

Down here we use the Collins Official Scrabble Words ("CSW12"), which has 124 two-letter words. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary ("OSPD4") used in North America only has 101 two-letter words.

The highest individual score (when placed on non-premium squares) for a two-letter word in both these official Scrabble dictionaries is 11 (consonant 10 + vowel 1) :

QI - in both dictionaries
ZA - in both dictionaries
ZO - in CSW12 only

Knowing all two-letter words is essential: eg, to facilitate placing a high-scoring word like a Bingo.

Last edited by phrontister (2013-06-01 15:28:49)

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

#6 2013-09-08 00:54:44

Real Member
Award: Wink Sherlock


Re: The Spelling Chequer

Could we check the spelling Chequer with a spelling Checker?

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